When I first learned about the term “Third Culture Kids”, I was relieved since I finally could put a name to “the way I have felt most of my life”.
On the US Department of Statesite, you can read the following definition of the term “Third Culture Kids”
Third-culture kids are those who have spent some of their growing up years in a foreign country and experience a sense of not belonging to their passport country when they return to it. In adapting to life in a ‘foreign’ country they have also missed learning ways of their homeland and feel most at home in the ‘third-culture’ which they have created. Little understood by American schools, where they are often considered an oddity, what third culture kids want most is to be accepted as the individuals they are.
I read the book Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, Revised Edition by Ruth Van Reken and David C. Pollock many years ago and had checked their website TCKWorld out too.
They define a TCK as:
a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside their parentsâ€™ culture.” –
In 2009 Kim Cofino asked me to contribute to her keynote presentation a short video clip about growing up as a TCK (Third Culture Kid).
Today I ran across a movie trailer announcing the soon to be released movie of Third Culture Kids. Especially the poem in the introduction of the trailer moved me…
My life is tethered to a rolling stone
My dreams are anchored in the wind
I come from here, I come from there
In truth I come from everywhere
My tongue does not have a mother
My language is an open mind
Before I learned how to walk, I already knew how to fly
Comfort for me is a constant motion
Continent to Continent, Ocean to Ocean
Are you a Third Culture Kid? Do you know of someone in your life who is a TCK?